User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 128 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 93 out of 128
  2. Negative: 25 out of 128
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. CoreyD.
    Feb 5, 2007
    10
    Film critics are like flies in jello when it comes to films like this one. They should stick to BLADE II or FAST AND THE FURIOUS or THE LAKEHOUSE, things that can compare to daytime television. This is one of those films you have to commit to, as it's long and distinct. Get a good nap before, and bring a sack lunch, take the next day off. This movie will be stuck in your head for a Film critics are like flies in jello when it comes to films like this one. They should stick to BLADE II or FAST AND THE FURIOUS or THE LAKEHOUSE, things that can compare to daytime television. This is one of those films you have to commit to, as it's long and distinct. Get a good nap before, and bring a sack lunch, take the next day off. This movie will be stuck in your head for a bit, and when it finally hits you, you'll smile. It's beautiful. Expand
  2. JeffT.
    Apr 3, 2007
    10
    Wow!! I did not want to leave that world he has created in this "film" See it with an open mind and do not put to much into understanding everything in your first viewing. It took me about 2 or 3 times before I started to catch on.
  3. Bob
    May 30, 2007
    10
    Strange, beautiful, mezmerizing, menacing, brave. Art.
  4. N.E.
    Dec 15, 2006
    10
    Interesting that so many of these reviews couldn't locate the Inland Empire geographically. For the record, the Inland Empire (aka, the 909) consists of the heavily congested, smog-choked working-class suburbs of western San Bernardino and Riverside counties. I don't think this makes the film any clearer, but there it is. That said, this movie is incredible. The 1 rule of Interesting that so many of these reviews couldn't locate the Inland Empire geographically. For the record, the Inland Empire (aka, the 909) consists of the heavily congested, smog-choked working-class suburbs of western San Bernardino and Riverside counties. I don't think this makes the film any clearer, but there it is. That said, this movie is incredible. The 1 rule of Lynch's films is that repeated viewing is essential; understanding how all the images fit together requires a real feeling for the scenes. With all of Lynch's previous work, I've found that the stories make a degree of sense, and contain fascinating insights, but many of the links required to realize this are intuitive rather than logical; they "sink in". I have no doubt that this will happen once I've seen "Inland Empire" a few more times. Ultimately Lynch is a great artist and makes very few films; if you're trying to decide whether to see this film, imagine what you would do if van Gogh was exhibiting new paintings in your hometown; they might not be his greatest work, and you might not grasp their meaning on the 1st pass, but you would still want to see van Gogh's newest work for yourself. Expand
  5. PeterF.
    Dec 7, 2006
    10
    Inland Empire is a masterwork--in Lynch's ouvre it ranks up there with Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive, and it may be the best film of '06. It is certainly the most challenging and experimental film to be released by an American director in quite some time. Go elsewhere if you need popcorn entertainment; but if you want to be taken on a thrilling ride into the mad, terrifying Inland Empire is a masterwork--in Lynch's ouvre it ranks up there with Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive, and it may be the best film of '06. It is certainly the most challenging and experimental film to be released by an American director in quite some time. Go elsewhere if you need popcorn entertainment; but if you want to be taken on a thrilling ride into the mad, terrifying corridors of consciousness, this bit of pure cinema is for you. Expand
  6. AaronT.
    Jan 10, 2007
    10
    One of the few entirely unique experiences I've had at the movies, but also distinctly Lynchian. There is no way to summarize the plot of this movie, nor is that the way it was apparantly intended to be absorbed. The sheer dread, paranoia, irony, sadness, satire, and triumph are felt rather than observed. The movie hits you hard in the same place in your mind that is brutally One of the few entirely unique experiences I've had at the movies, but also distinctly Lynchian. There is no way to summarize the plot of this movie, nor is that the way it was apparantly intended to be absorbed. The sheer dread, paranoia, irony, sadness, satire, and triumph are felt rather than observed. The movie hits you hard in the same place in your mind that is brutally affected by a nightmare which, upon waking, is impossible to explain in it's full impact. Expand
  7. BorisM.
    Jan 2, 2007
    9
    Unlike Harmony Korine or Crispin Glover, Lynch doesn't have to rely on exploiting mentally handicapped people in order to convey his message to the silver screen. Where Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive let me down, Inland Empire proves a true return to form for the best director alive today.
  8. GarrisonT.
    Dec 20, 2006
    10
    This film was built to split audiences... and expectations... and psyches. For those well-versed in the "mobius strip" structure Lynch has slowly been refining since his underrated LOST HIGHWAY, this film will be a Godsend. For everyone else, I would simply ask that you give it a fair shot, minus any expectations you might have for a normal three-act narrative. Just let the jaw-droppingly This film was built to split audiences... and expectations... and psyches. For those well-versed in the "mobius strip" structure Lynch has slowly been refining since his underrated LOST HIGHWAY, this film will be a Godsend. For everyone else, I would simply ask that you give it a fair shot, minus any expectations you might have for a normal three-act narrative. Just let the jaw-droppingly visceral lead performance by Laura Dern be your emotional anchor through this cryptic film's dark and troubling waters. Don't worry... she'll carry you safely to the other side. BEST FILM OF 2006... period. Expand
  9. HeidiK.
    Dec 20, 2006
    10
    A gorgeous and poignant film. i am enthralled yet again.....
  10. ElliottM.
    Dec 5, 2006
    10
    I saw this at the AFI fest and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. Yes, it's frustrating and confusing, but I can't remember ever being so completely engrossed in a 3-hour movie before. It is exhilarating and astonishing to see something so formless, so subconscious. Oh, and Laura Dern is incredible. Her "monologue" might be the greatest moment in film for 2006. (Oh, I saw this at the AFI fest and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. Yes, it's frustrating and confusing, but I can't remember ever being so completely engrossed in a 3-hour movie before. It is exhilarating and astonishing to see something so formless, so subconscious. Oh, and Laura Dern is incredible. Her "monologue" might be the greatest moment in film for 2006. (Oh, and one more thing -- I think David Edelstein's review is misrepresented above -- I found it to be quite positive actually). Expand
  11. AaronS.
    Dec 8, 2006
    10
    'INLAND EMPIRE' is difficult yes. Challenging yes. Brilliant filmmaking, absolutely. Lynch's most daringly experimental feature will be maddening to some (witness the wildly mixed reviews) and endlessly fascinating to die hard cineastes. Multiple viewings are a neccessity. This film will be discussed, argued about and debated for years to come. Like all great films. The 'INLAND EMPIRE' is difficult yes. Challenging yes. Brilliant filmmaking, absolutely. Lynch's most daringly experimental feature will be maddening to some (witness the wildly mixed reviews) and endlessly fascinating to die hard cineastes. Multiple viewings are a neccessity. This film will be discussed, argued about and debated for years to come. Like all great films. The best film of 2006, no contest. Expand
  12. THATMOVIEGUY
    Oct 24, 2007
    10
    This is the type of movie that is impossible to give a perfect score review to, w/o sounding like a pretentious, art snob elitist. Simply because, this movie is so avant-garde, and so different from 99% of other independent movies, not to mention all the mainstream movies we all watch, that you can't compare it to much, except Lynch's own body of work. INLAND EMPIRE at a This is the type of movie that is impossible to give a perfect score review to, w/o sounding like a pretentious, art snob elitist. Simply because, this movie is so avant-garde, and so different from 99% of other independent movies, not to mention all the mainstream movies we all watch, that you can't compare it to much, except Lynch's own body of work. INLAND EMPIRE at a superficial level, could be called "Mulholland Drive" gone all "Eraserhead" with no "Twin Peaks". But really, it's just David Lynch's first full on subconscious trek of imagination, since Eraserhead. Just pure creativity, instead of setting up a linear story, lynch's "Picasso-esque" style, of throwing fragment of plot lines around, and then distorting their shape and importance later, gives EMPIRE an ability to impact the engrossed viewer, has honest to God, NEVER EXPERIENCED BEFORE! This movie is not LIKE a dream, it IS a dream. You leave the theatre confused as to what you saw and felt, as much as you try to hold on to the pure magic of those moments, that came like a surprise birthday party, out of the blue. I do not think David Lynch is the greatest film maker around or anything like that, but I do think he's ONE of the greatest around. However, I think his skill and the type of wild movies he makes are not totally interconnected. To me, Lynch JUST HAPPENS to make avant-garde films, like Aphex Twin just happens to make electronic music. In a parallel timeline, Lynch might be making some of the best Spielberg type movies around, and Micheal Bay makes really pretentious art films that ONLY snobs like (isn't that what Transformers is anyway? one big blur of color?). Anyway, seeing this movie in theaters was absolutely magical for me and the 2 friends i saw it with. I hope you have a similar experience. Expand
  13. CalK.
    Jan 30, 2007
    9
    A haunting and beautiful epic. Dern is INCREDIBLE!
  14. lucyaspe
    Feb 19, 2007
    10
    Planteada como un torbellino de sensaciones con lógica o sin ella, Inland Empire prolonga la fascinante parte final de Mulholland Drive, explicando pues cosas soñadas, ansiadas o vividas y requiriendo siempre del espectador que se deje llevar más allá del razonamiento lógico. Lynch recicla elementos de las obras que ha realizado para su webPlanteada como un torbellino de sensaciones con lógica o sin ella, Inland Empire prolonga la fascinante parte final de Mulholland Drive, explicando pues cosas soñadas, ansiadas o vividas y requiriendo siempre del espectador que se deje llevar más allá del razonamiento lógico. Lynch recicla elementos de las obras que ha realizado para su web (www.davidlynch.com) a lo largo de los cinco últimos años, caso de las escenas de la surreal sitcom protagonizada por humanos con cabeza de conejo (de la serie Rabbits) o la misteriosa palabra Axxonn cuya lectura inicia el viaje fantasioso: Axxonn es el título de otra serie internáutico-lynchiana. En unos tiempos de replanteamiento del relato y la textura visual (la película ha sido rodada en vídeo digital, pero no de alta definición), Lynch sigue siendo un cineasta imprescindible aunque se sepa minoritario. Expand
  15. JackR.
    Mar 20, 2007
    10
    Similar to his existing discography (sans Dune), INLAND EMPIRE will stand the test of time and be the standard litmus test to all (non studio) cinema in a few decades (or less)....True, wait and see.
  16. JohnnyN.
    Mar 31, 2007
    9
    This film has no traditional story arc, but it is not boring. You may not walk out of the theater pleased that [***SPOILER***]Commander Bond has saved the world one more time, but you will not be bored. Quote for ad media, "Inland Empire is the Citizen Kane of Polish-American rabbit suit movies".
  17. LeonH.
    Apr 14, 2007
    10
    Friend of mine, who sat next to me while watching the movie, has said afterwards: you need a degree in Psychology to understand what was going on there". Well, I have one, and it helps a lot to solve the riddle: indeed, It is a hard and outstanding movie, as hard and outstanding as an invasive voyage through the open darkness of the Great Ocean of the Mind, where The Conscious, The Friend of mine, who sat next to me while watching the movie, has said afterwards: you need a degree in Psychology to understand what was going on there". Well, I have one, and it helps a lot to solve the riddle: indeed, It is a hard and outstanding movie, as hard and outstanding as an invasive voyage through the open darkness of the Great Ocean of the Mind, where The Conscious, The Subconsious and The Unconscious, unprecedently mixed together, ought to be. Great piece of Art. Expand
  18. AnthonyB.
    May 13, 2007
    10
    A film for film lovers - art at its most innovative.
  19. MelanieP.
    May 29, 2007
    10
    Lynch's Inland Empire is a piece of abstract art, leading to the interpretation of the viewer, it has its own sense of being or essence, and that is the beauty of such a piece. Bravo!
  20. Martijnd.
    May 9, 2007
    10
    Dont try to understand it all. It is not really a riddle to be solved. As life stands full of mysteries, this movie does in the end as well. And yet you can enjoy the ride.
  21. MarkE.
    Sep 1, 2007
    10
    Film as art. If you can get past the need for the traditional narrative structure and just soak up the imagery and atmosphere you will find this is three hours rewardingly spent.
  22. NeilL
    Mar 24, 2009
    10
    Now that the critical dust has settled (love it or hate it, as always), this film stands out as Lynch's most complex, troubling and perverse work. For that feat alone it deserves the highest score possible. It will continue to fascinate and perplex.
  23. JamesD.
    Dec 11, 2006
    10
    I am so sick of these old fogeys criticizing Digital Video- it's such a completely worthless thing to say. DV totally serves this story. People saying David needs to make sense? Hahahahah... go watch Dreamgirls if you don't want to THINK. If you can sit through 3 hours of Return of the King you can certainly enter an even trippier fantasy a la Lynch. Thank god there is David Lynch.
  24. PeterD.
    Jan 14, 2007
    10
    This is the future of filmmaking. What seems unfamiliar about Inland Empire will be commonplace shortly. Brilliant acting by all and, as usual, great pictures and technical craft from Lynch.
  25. JL
    Jan 15, 2007
    10
    It's odd that here and elsewhere this film has inspired a thuggish "I didn't get the film so you shouldn't go see it and if you have you shouldn't like it and if you do there is something wrong with you" attitude. Besides the fact that this is a very un-American attitude, the fact of the matter is that this film really isn't all *that* much further out there than It's odd that here and elsewhere this film has inspired a thuggish "I didn't get the film so you shouldn't go see it and if you have you shouldn't like it and if you do there is something wrong with you" attitude. Besides the fact that this is a very un-American attitude, the fact of the matter is that this film really isn't all *that* much further out there than Mulholland Drive - you had advance notice, people! As for the film itself, it left me with the feeling of a disturbing dream that I didn't quite get the meaning of upon waking... in fact, it captured that feeling absolutely perfectly. I've never seen this done so well before in any film, including Eraserhead. In my book, that's a 10. Expand
  26. MattK.
    Mar 26, 2007
    10
    A stunning work. Stays with you. Bizarre and thought provoking like all great cinema.
  27. PolinaN.
    May 29, 2007
    10
    The best Lynch's movie. I'm afraid he would never be able to make something better than INLAND EMPIRE
  28. DerekC
    Oct 24, 2008
    9
    I'VE BEEN LYNCHED! - Bad, inevitable joke, but also fitting. One has to trust Mr. Lynch to sit through a film like this. What does one do with the grotesque in this film, as in his others? How about the evil, the innate self-destructiveness and pathetic cluelessness of mankind? There is no such thing as a happy ending in a Lynch film, despite appearances to the contrary. We're I'VE BEEN LYNCHED! - Bad, inevitable joke, but also fitting. One has to trust Mr. Lynch to sit through a film like this. What does one do with the grotesque in this film, as in his others? How about the evil, the innate self-destructiveness and pathetic cluelessness of mankind? There is no such thing as a happy ending in a Lynch film, despite appearances to the contrary. We're put through an intriguing, in your face nightmare. What does one do? Oddly enough it is possible to enjoy it. As a fan of Alain Resnais films, which are typically cryptic and challenging, I consider David Lynch to be the next generation of his school transplanted and grown in America. Inland Empire is so buried in the current American psyche it is startling. It digs right down to its twisted and self-strangling roots. Our culture is incomprehensibly bizarre. Inland Empire reflects that and leads you to feel like a victim of our own country's behavior. It's the undercurrent spirit of the age, increasingly so as time continues past the release date of the film. Then there are the parallels of the film inside the film inside the mind of the lead character that take place in Poland. Surprise America. Mankind has been there and done that before elsewhere in the world. How do humans entertain themselves? Persistently. Perennially. We don't just invent 'American' dreams. We consistently insist upon inventing dark games of deceit, sex and intrigue. Like it or not, we all make Lynch films of our lives. And we find it entertaining in the moment of each moment's birth. What are we? Why are we so dark? Why has mankind alone invented evil? With a bit of cinematic magic and flash, David Lynch dares put us through a hall of mirrors in an attempt to find out. The challenge: find the thread of sanity that holds us together. To Lynch fans, surviving the journey is worth the knowledge of understanding. Can we learn from our mistakes? Can we grow? Expand
  29. DeeS.
    Jan 31, 2008
    10
    PLOTLESS!!!! Are you joking? Are you in denial? Revisit the film people. Sit down and watch the first 45 minutes. Then turn off the film and reflect. Inland Empire is one of the most brilliant expositions of infidelity that has ever been committed to the screen (be it TV or Film). Not only that, but he goes even further and implies all sorts of nasty bits with respect to the Hollywood PLOTLESS!!!! Are you joking? Are you in denial? Revisit the film people. Sit down and watch the first 45 minutes. Then turn off the film and reflect. Inland Empire is one of the most brilliant expositions of infidelity that has ever been committed to the screen (be it TV or Film). Not only that, but he goes even further and implies all sorts of nasty bits with respect to the Hollywood assembly line that we know so well and love. If you can wrap your mind around this idea - the fact that a film like this is trying to bypass your tendency to rationalize and going straight for the subconscious- then you can begin to understand what's going on here. The characters for the first 45 minutes are practically speaking in code. The code is the revelation of the subconscious. And people who disagree with this are just too comfy in their own heads, with their inflated egos. POWER TO THE ID (and that's not identification papers as some of you might think), PEOPLE. The truth is in the ID. Expand
  30. SeanU
    Dec 13, 2006
    10
    Really deep, challenging, unpredictable, slow-moving and almost sleep-inducing, nerve-rattling at other times [my girlfriend said that she didn't remember the last time she covered her eyes at a scary film] and ultimately the most jarring thing I've seen in a long time. I'm not a complete believer in Lynch's 'so personal it's indecipherable' style shift Really deep, challenging, unpredictable, slow-moving and almost sleep-inducing, nerve-rattling at other times [my girlfriend said that she didn't remember the last time she covered her eyes at a scary film] and ultimately the most jarring thing I've seen in a long time. I'm not a complete believer in Lynch's 'so personal it's indecipherable' style shift - I still think Blue Velvet is his best work yet - but this is hard to top in terms of mood, honesty and, above all, a bizarre world that is summed up with Lynch's "GIRL IN TROUBLE" mantra. I saw him present the film and that statement is how he himself summed up the entire film. Amazing stuff. Expand
  31. Jon
    Dec 21, 2006
    9
    I'm just glad I don't live in Mitch G.'s world. The only requirement of the medium is that it have moving images, and "Inland Empire" has some of the most indelible moving images I've seen in a while.
  32. tedted
    Dec 22, 2006
    10
    I didn't find this film inscrutable at all. While plot points, segues and time-sequences are not clear, Lynch makes it clear that these things are not necessary to convey narrative or emotion, or anything else. Lynch ultimately expands the mainstream viewer's notions of what they will accept as meaningful. He is probably the only really socially-minded director in America, on I didn't find this film inscrutable at all. While plot points, segues and time-sequences are not clear, Lynch makes it clear that these things are not necessary to convey narrative or emotion, or anything else. Lynch ultimately expands the mainstream viewer's notions of what they will accept as meaningful. He is probably the only really socially-minded director in America, on par with Haneke of Austria. Expand
  33. Apr 29, 2011
    10
    There is a very definite, specific entry point into this film. The bewildering, chaotic, inscrutable personality of this misunderstood film is only a facade - a false front - concealing a remarkably lucid narrative that absolutely is David's most potent, most intense, most shattering creation. There are "clues" offered at the film's beginning as to just what is required of the viewer inThere is a very definite, specific entry point into this film. The bewildering, chaotic, inscrutable personality of this misunderstood film is only a facade - a false front - concealing a remarkably lucid narrative that absolutely is David's most potent, most intense, most shattering creation. There are "clues" offered at the film's beginning as to just what is required of the viewer in order to "gain access." These clues are delivered via the curious words of the "Polish" characters who are expressing a desire, a need for us to disregard all our preconceptions of Lynch's previous work, and more importantly to adjust our awareness to a point where all the fractured, hysterical elements of the film somehow realign into a much much more coherent continuum.There's even a fairly explicit instruction on how to achieve this mental "adjustment" provided by the unusual foreign "neighbor." The "story" you then discover is astoundingly vivid and vibrant. It unfolds elegantly, magically within your mind in a most spectacularly visceral process, like the most intense 3D of the mind - ultra turbo psycho 3D. It's David's stunning singular achievement to have so thoroughly deconstructed the forms of cinema and TV and theater and web casts and static art in order to create an entirely new, original, vital art form. It's revolutionary and unequaled by any other living artist. James Joyce attempted something similar in literature, Picasso labored for something comparable in cubism, Gandhi suggested something related in politics, and Shaman for eons have operated through similar processes to affect the Consciousness. Subjective experience is a malleable, variable, fluid process that defies our attempts to contain it, to name it, to control it. So David has learned if you can't beat it, join it. And he has intimately joined with these vague and threatening forces that guide our psyches. And in order to join with, or grok, this film you must surrender to it's design. It will reward your time and efforts ten fold. It's a roller coaster ride through the vast caverns, meandering galleries, and cluttered cupboards of David's Provincial Gothic mind. It transports you to a destination that presents itself as a profoundly disturbing insight into the nature of our Western Culture, the implications and ramifications of which are staggering in their impact. David has expressed his experience of being alive through a virtual recreation of process by which he came to his insight. We are not just witnessing a description of his discovery, but seemingly actually accompanying him on his spiritual voyage. I could almost hear him whispering in my ear the entire time, "This is so intense, right?" There is a profoundly sublimely experience that awaits you, if you choose to pursue this unprecedented adventure. If you do, you will know the deepest mystery of cinema and the society that reveres it. Expand
Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Over time, though, with films such as "Lost Highway" and, to a lesser extent, "Mulholland Drive," Lynch's movies became less personal and more private. Whatever he is working out in his new film, Inland Empire, it's beyond the reach of all but his idolators.
  2. Inland Empire is so locked up in David Lynch's brain that it never burrows its way into ours.
  3. 88
    My advice, in the face of such hallucinatory brilliance, is that you hang on.